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Chapter 1 : Simply Beautiful
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"Beauty is not caused. It is." - Emily Dickinson
She was standing on the corner of the street. Her long dirty blonde hair was being blown in all directions due to the ghastly wind. With her usual dreamy look, she seemed to be examining the light post in front of her. It was a particularly cold winter’s day yet one look at her would make anyone believe it was the middle of summer. She was wearing a skimpy blue dress which hung to her mid-thighs with a pair of long white socks covering the rest of her legs, although one sock was more beige than white. Her shoes were odd; one a red boot while the other was a black flat shoe. How she didn’t realise that her shoes didn’t match at all was beyond him. Then again, maybe she had purposely picked two completely different shoes. Her bizarre behaviour made this theory just as plausible. Despite her inability to dress in a normal manner as well as her complete disinterest in taking care of her looks; her face was bare of make-up, her hair looked like it hadn’t seen a hairbrush in weeks and her fingernails were covered in what looked like an incomplete attempt to paint them, he had to admit, only to himself of course, that she was one of the most beautiful creatures he had ever laid his eyes on. Just in her case, it wasn’t an assortment of products which ensured this beauty. All the other girls that he had been involved with had needed to maintain their beauty with regular up keeping, whereas she was simply beautiful in a natural, untainted and effortless kind of way. She was proof that true beauty couldn’t be created or forced, it just was.
No matter how hard he had tried and rest assured, he had tried bloody hard, he could not rid himself of the memory of their night together. One-night stands with numerous attractive females, many nights spent in a drunken haze; no matter what he tried, the image of her naked body sprawled on the motel bed underneath him seemed to be permanently imprinted in his memory. Despite him continually convincing himself that it had been just another meaningless night with an equally meaningless girl, deep down somewhere he knew that this was a lie he told himself simply to make himself feel better. Plus how could it ever work between the two of them? He was Draco Malfoy and she was Loony Lovegood for Christ’s sake. He could just imagine the looks on his parent’s faces if he brought her home with him. His mother would be disgusted by her unusual dress sense and his father would probably ridicule him for stooping so low when he could have any other attractive female. Then again, she was a pureblood and had been in Ravenclaw, reasonably more respectable than Gryffindor or Hufflepuff. Bringing home Luna to meet his family would be considerably better than bringing home someone like that mudblood, Hermione Granger, for instance. However it still wouldn’t be a Malfoy-encouraged match that’s for sure. Nevertheless, he could not seem to put her out of his thoughts.
In some ways he damned that night and the circumstances that had brought them together in that motel bed. If it had never happened then he wouldn’t now be consumed by thoughts of her almost every second of every day. Yet he couldn’t entirely hate that night. Despite them both being slightly intoxicated; he had never felt more alive or more real than he had then lying in her embrace after making love not once but twice. With her it hadn’t been about the sex, for once in his life, he had felt more than just unadulterated lust while sleeping with a woman. As much as he dreaded to think it, he had had real feelings towards her. Real emotions had surged through him when he had been with her. For the first time in the six months since that night, he allowed himself to relive the memory of their night of passion.
“Another one,” Draco demanded, sculling the remnants of firewhisky in his glass while the bartender poured him another. Five glasses down already, his words were already slurring and he knew that it wouldn’t be long before he was denied any more drinks.
With his newly poured drink in hand, he glanced around the room. Terrified of spending the night alone, although he would never admit this to himself – he preferred to think that he was just satisfying his insatiable appetite for bedding attractive woman, he knew it was time to make a move and pick the woman he would take home with him tonight. Just as he had almost given up hope on finding a suitable candidate, he spotted a woman hiding in the corner of one of the back booths. Her long blonde hair was teased and messy, covering half of her face, but nonetheless he could tell that she was beautiful. Something about her was familiar but he pushed aside this realization and hoisting himself of his stool situated directly at the bar, he stumbled in the direction of the woman.
Approaching her he finally realized why she was familiar – he knew her. Sitting in front of him, surrounded by a collection of empty firewhiskey glasses, was Luna Lovegood. She was staring blankly at the table, her slivery grey eyes filled with a dull emptiness that Draco had seen all too in his own eyes. She was surprisingly beautiful he realized. How he had missed this simple fact in all their years together at Hogwarts was unbeknown to him. Her beauty stood out in an obviously simple way. Her skin was flawless, her eyes mesmerizing, her body slim and curvy in all the right places and although what she was wearing would have looked odd and clearly uncoordinated on anyone else, she managed to look gorgeous in the mismatched ensemble. The sadness he saw in her eyes made him want to hold her and reassure her that everything was going to be okay, a realisation that shocked him deeply.
Suddenly she looked up at him. Her eyes pierced through his, as if she could see into the very depths of his soul. “Hello Draco,” she said in her vague, airy voice. Her use of his first name surprised him. Even people that he could call acquaintances in school had called him by his last name. Then again, the Slytherin crowd had never been an awfully lovely or friendly bunch, even to each other.
Taking the initiative and sitting down beside her on the bench, he asked, “So what’s on your mind?”
“Nothing really,” she responded, her eyes dropping down and returning their gaze to the table. They sat in silence for a moment. “Loneliness is funny emotion isn’t it?” she observed. “You can have everything you thought you wanted; friends, family, a job...but despite all of that you still feel alone in the world.”
Draco nodded. Her words touched him in a way he thought impossible. He spent most of his waking, sober hours preventing himself from feeling any emotions. Always staying caught up in work, he managed to achieve this most of the time. It was at night when he had nothing to occupy himself with that the loneliness hit him.
Feeling her gaze on him again, he looked into her eyes. His next action could not have been predicted by either of them. His hand reached out and stroked the side of her face and then with a sudden fierceness, his lips were upon hers. It had taken them less than a few minutes after that to leave the bar and shortly after, they found themselves stumbling into a motel room. Clothes were ripped off and thrown to the floor with such urgency that by the time they landed on the bed, they were both clothe less.
The first time was over in a flash, passion driving them on at a reckless speed. The second time, they took their time with one another, exploring each other in every way possible, dragging out the pleasure.
Shaking himself out of his imagination, Draco focused his attention back on reality – more specifically the woman in front of him that he wanted more than anything else in the world. Not a single communication had taken place between them since that night, yet he was so certain that it was love that consumed him. She had awoken him and he could now see everything clearly. He could see what truly mattered, what he truly wanted in life and what he wanted was her – this beautiful creature, who had brought him to life.
Taking a deep breath, he crossed the road and stopped directly in front of her. Her attention turned from the light post to him. Her eyes widened a little as she took in his identity.
Deciding it was now or never, he took her hands in his and staring into her eyes, proclaimed, “Luna Lovegood, God help me why or how or when, but you have stolen my heart.”
Nodding, she replied, a small smile appearing on her face, “I know.”
That was all he needed. Gathering her in his embrace, he claimed her lips with his.
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